TARRAGONA, SPAIN - In a longitudinal study of more than 7,000 people in Spain who are over 50 years old, it was found that those who ate nuts more than three times a week had reduced risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease, compared to those who did not eat nuts.
People who ate nuts also tended to have a lower body mass index and a smaller waist. They were less likely to smoke and likely to be more physically active than those who rarely or never ate nuts.
Nut eaters also ate a better diet in general, with more vegetables, fruit and fish. They had fewer risks of type 2 diabetes and hypertension as well.
Overall, nut eaters had a 39 per cent lower mortality risk and walnut eaters had a 45 per cent lower risk.
People eating more than three servings (one serving equals 28g) a week of nuts reduced their risk of death due to cardiovascular disease by 55 per cent and cancer by 40 per cent.
The findings, announced on Tuesday, will appear in BioMed Central's open-access journal BMC Medicine.